(Special to the American Press)
Last Modified: Friday, March 07, 2014 12:09 PM
LAKE ARTHUR — The town is going after a $500,000 state grant to help upgrade its lakefront park.
Mayor Robbie Bertrand said the town hopes to receive the matching grant from the Louisiana Land and Water Conservation Fund to renovate, restore and further develop the Lake Arthur Park.
The grant will reimburse up to 50 percent of a maximum total project costs of $500,000, less administrative fees, according to a resolution adopted Wednesday by the mayor and town council.
The town has $250,000 available to meet the match, Bertrand said.
“If we get this grant, it will be used for uplifting an aging facility to a more colorful and modern one,” Bertrand said. “The park has aged and needs an uplift.”
The park was built in the early 1970s. A second phase of the park was completed in the 1980s.
Plans for the upgrade include the replacement of picnic pavilions, which are in “pretty bad shape” and “deteriorated,” Bertrand said.
The project will include new picnic tables, replacement of boardwalk timbers, new LED lighting on the boardwalk and removal of the old dive tower.
The proposed improvements will attract more tourists, helping the town generate revenues, according to Alderman Ellsworth Duhon. “I think it can attract people and bring them in,” Duhon said.
The park is expected to play a vital role in the designation of a new Flyway Byway scenic route through Jeff Davis Parish.
The plan incorporates a nearly 60-mile driving route with proposed bike routes, waterways and walking paths in the Lake Arthur, Welsh and Jennings areas.